Bluetooth Earpieces Do Battle With the $3,000 Hearing Aid

One night in June 2010, New York composer Richard Einhorn went to bed in a motel feeling stuffy and woke up almost completely deaf. At the time, Einhorn, who wrote the oratorio Voices of Light, had limited ways to deal with his nightmare condition, known as sudden sensorineural hearing loss. He visited an audiologist and bought a hearing aid for $3,000. (His insurance plan, like most, didn’t cover it.) Unhappy with the expense and the limits of the earpiece’s technology, which struggled to adapt to different noise levels, Einhorn began searching for alternative gadgets that could restore more of his hearing for less money.

Today, he has a backpack full of them. To supplement his old-school hearing aid, he favors a $350 iPhone-linked earpiece made by Sound World Solutions, a hearing-hardware maker in Park Ridge, Ill., for whom he’s begun to consult. With the Sound World device on, he can amplify phone calls and streaming music as well as his surroundings. A third, $500 earpiece was custom-made by Ultimate Ears in Irvine, Calif., to help him detect a wider range of musical tones while composing. For restaurants and theaters, he has a $45 directional microphone that pairs with a $5 app to isolate desired voices. And for especially cacophonous places, he has spare $700 microphones, made by Etymotic Research in Elk Grove Village, Ill., that he can strap to companions.

Einhorn credits the audio patchwork with saving his career and his life. “It’s incredible,” he says over lunch in a busy restaurant, as he toggles the proper setting on his phone.

The Bluetooth-connected earpieces aren’t classified as hearing aids by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. They’re called personal sound amplification products, or PSAPs. Basic versions of such devices have existed for more than a decade in lonely RadioShack aisles and a handful of other places. But in the past 18 months, advances in circuitry and low-energy Bluetooth transmission have helped developers radically improve the designs to make high-quality, long-lasting alternativesto hearing aids while keeping pricesat a fraction of the industry standard.

Whatever regulators or insurers call them, PSAP manufacturers are angling to expand the $6 billion global market for hearing technology. Largely due to the cost, 75 percent of the 34 million Americans with hearing loss don’t use aids, says David Kirkwood, the editor of industry blog Hearing Health & Technology Matters. “A lot of people will continue to pay for traditional hearing aids,” he says. “But there are now inexpensive, easy-to-get alternatives.”

Part of the reason PSAPs are cheap is that they’re unregulated. Hearing-aid fittings and audiological calibrations account for much of the cost of aids from the big six makers—Siemens, Sonova, Starkey Hearing Technologies, William Demant, GN ReSound, and Widex. A midlevel pair that retails for $4,400 costs about $440 to manufacture, according to AARP. Research and development spending is also a factor: Unlike the free Bluetooth standard used by upstarts such as Sound World, old-school hearing aids run on proprietary signal processing and transmission technology. Siemens, Sonova, and Widex declined to comment; GN ReSound, Starkey, and William Demant didn’t respond to requests for comment.

Still, being kept out of doctors’ offices has been a huge problem for PSAP makers, says Venkat Rajan, who tracks medical devices for researcher Frost & Sullivan. While the size of the market can be difficult to gauge given the lack of regulation, anecdotal evidence suggests sales have been soft, he says. It doesn’t help that, according to industry journal the Hearing Review, the average American buying a hearing aid is 71 years old. “Trying to find that customer base has been difficult,” Rajan says.

The marketing of hearing aids, classified as medical devices by the FDA since 1977, is strictly regulated in the U.S. According to agency guidelines that predate the latest generation of equipment, PSAP makers aren’t allowed to market their products as medical devices. Instead, they’re supposed to be used recreationally by people who can already hear comfortably. The FDA, which wouldn’t say whether it plans to change its rules, occasionally issues warnings to companies it believes to be violating them, so PSAP ads tend to include at least one verbal somersault. An ad for Etymotic describes its latest product, the Bean, thusly: “Not a hearing aid but has many advantages.”

The $300 Bean is the brainchild of Mead Killion, the co-founder of Etymotic. He invented the analog hi-fi amplification technology behind the device back in 1988, but says it’s only since 2013 that circuitry has become cheap enough for the product to be worth manufacturing en masse. His company uses the same technology in adaptive earplugs designed for orchestra musicians or infantry troops to keep music or conversation audible while dampening loud noises. A decade ago, Killion failed to persuade the FDA that early PSAPs should be sold over the counter. He’s lobbying for a contract with the Department of Defense.

Normally, I hear fine, but I conducted a hands-on experiment shortly before an interview with Killion. It became clear that having professional help putting these things in is a good idea. Initially, one Bean in each ear made it easy to hear faraway gossip in a noisy Whole Foods. Then I pushed them too far, and suddenly could hear nothing at all. Killion said the problem was waxy buildup in my narrow ear canals, so the next step was a $150 cerumenectomy—that is, getting a doctor to scrape out gobs of wax and clear the blockage.

The era of Internet diagnosis hasn’t eliminated the need for medical professionals, says Erin Miller, president of the American Academy of Audiology. “This is our biggest problem with the PSAPs in general,” she says. “We want to make sure someone has looked in the patient’s ear.” All the more reason, PSAP makers argue, to put their products in medical offices next to those from Starkey and ReSound. For now, the companies’ sales will be limited to true believers like Einhorn, the composer. “You have to remember that I’m a maniac,” he says. “I will do anything to hear as best as possible in any situation.”

What we say: Whilst Bluetooth is regarded as an old technology now the reliability can’t be questioned. It would seem that this type of technology is a log time coming to a thirsty industry for inventive technology. Source - http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-03-05/hearing-aid-alternatives-get-cheaper-more-powerful 

What do we call an Earpiece?

From wisegeek.com “What Is an Earpiece?” (17 January 2011)

Broadly speaking, an earpiece refers to anything that functions by either covering the ear, or hanging near the ear. In this broad category are the parts of an eyeglass frame that extend over the ear, and any material specifically designed to fit into the ear and block off the entry of sound or water. The most common meaning of an “earpiece” however is an electronic device that converts electronic signals into sound waves, and directs them into the ear. In this context, the earpiece can also be called an electronic-acoustic transducer.

Originally, the earpiece was the only way of listening to electronically-generated audio signals. Thereafter, amplifiers were developed, and the role of earpieces became more a matter of personal preference than necessity. Nowadays, earpieces are used for convenience — where privacy is desired, or where mobility is important. Depending on its design, an earpiece can also be variously known as headphones, ear buds, stereo phones or headsets.

what is an earpieceEarpieces can be organized broadly into two categories — wired earpieces and cordless or wireless earpieces. The wireless types use either radio waves or infrared signals to connect to the signal sources. Earpieces for CD players, computers or mobile phones are some examples. A signal transmission link is used, like Bluetooth® or Wi-Fi.

The wired earpiece has to be physically attached to a signal source. To facilitate this, jacks at the end of the cords are inserted into the signal source. Jack sizes have been standardized, and the most common size is the 3.5 millimeter (about 0.2 inches) that was brought into the market by the Sony Company in 1979. The much older, 1/4 inch (about 6.4 mm) jack is now used only in professional equipment. When wiring up the stereo jacks, the tip is always the left channel, the portion in between is the right channel, and the outer sleeve is the ground.

The use of ear buds has a profound impact on how one perceives sound. This is because an earpiece feeds the sound directly into the eardrums, without the normal acoustic contouring by the listener’s head and outer ear that normal loudspeakers give scope for. Lacking these spatial references, the brain then imagines the sound to be in a straight line within the head and between the ears. This strips the sound of its 3 dimensional effect, otherwise produced by the normal loudspeakers.

From their shapes and sizes, earpieces can be placed into four categories. The circum-aural types have large pads that surround the outer ear. They are most commonly used in recording studios. The supra-aural headphones fit just over the ear, without fully surrounding it. Ear buds are designed to fit inside outer ear’s canal. However, they don’t fully cover the canal, and exterior sounds can still be heard around them. In contrast, canal phones, the fourth category, fit snugly into the ear’s canal, and effectively block off the external sounds.

Where Are Sepura Radios Used?

For people who are curious where Sepura radios are used, then this article is for you. Sepura is a highly respected company that designs, manufactures and sells radio technology. However, the company is known for providing accessories, like a Sepura radio earpiece to radio networks. The company has gained a reputation to supply radios that are highly secure, feature-rich and durable. In fact, with these so many features, the only real question is – in which situations do Sepura radio are not suitable? The answer is – hardly. Nevertheless, this article is going to enumerate a few popular uses for Sepura radios.

Public Safety

One of the most common uses for Sepura radios is in the field of public safety. There are plenty of reasons for this, but the most compelling one is because of the Sepura’s mobile gateway technology. Because of such technology, officers in public safety will be able to communicate with each other no matter the location, even for “dead spots. Sepura radio also comes with a one-of-a-kind noise suppression technology. It’s so good at it that even with wailing sirens, you can still hear crystal clear audio. However, if you really want to block-out all the background noises, then Sepura radio earpiece can help you with that.

Seupra also provides radio technologies that are all designed to streamline and increase the functionality of the communications like allowing real-time information sharing with emergency services, the control room and colleagues; also, Sepura provides apps that make using the technology easier. The ability of Sepura radios to withstand a heavy beating makes them very ideal for tough and disaster scenarios. Lastly Sepura radios come with a Man-Down feature, which provides critical help for any officers that might need backup or assistance.

Oil And Gas

Another popular use for Sepura radios is in oil and gas industries, especially offshore installations. These kinds of work environments are considered as “high risk”, thus worker safety of utmost importance. Therefore, accurate and clear communication is crucial for the safety of all the workers. Sepura radios offer the one of the best radio communications and technologies to provide that another safety layer.

The notable safety features are the Lone Worker and Man-Down. These features are especially designed to ensure safety of the workers and provide immediate help if the situation arises. The radios and accessories are designed in a way so that it can be easily operated even if the user is wearing thick gloves. Sepura radios also feature real-time information authorization access to different areas. This helps protect assets and ensure information security. Also, Sepura radios come with an app specially designed for oil and gas environments as it helps in reducing incidents, liability exposure, promoting safety and full audit-trail.

Sepura is a company that designs, manufactures and sells radio and radio based-technologies from handheld devices, networks to accessories, like the Sepura radio earpiece. Because of the many features, their radios are extensively used in different locations, industries and agencies. The company has put a lot of effort to put features that ensure safety and clear communications, thus it has earned a place in public safety and oil and gas industries.

How Does Spy Earpiece Work?

The spy earpiece is a gadget of the future that facilitates our lives. With the spy earpiece invisible communication is performed in most troublesome situations when cover assistance is necessary.

The main feature of the spy earpiece is its complete invisibility. First of all, the spy earpiece goes in beige hue that is very close to skin color. So when you insert it into the ear, nobody can even notice it. Besides, the spy earpiece can boast of super tiny dimensions that ensure absolute invisibility of the gadget when it is in the ear.

The good news is the spy earpiece is available on the market in diverse gadget sets. The most popular of them are Bluetooth Set, Watch Set, MP3 Set and Glasses Set. Each one of the sets listed above has an in-built transmitter and a microphone (in the loop for Bluetooth and MP3, in the bow of the glasses and on the reverse side of the watch). Thanks to the transmitter, the gadget gets connected to the cell phone. And thanks to the sensitive microphone your partner will hear your every word even if you whisper. So, as you can see the spy earpiece set consists of the transmitter with an embedded microphone and a spy earpiece with a battery.

It is pretty easy to use the spy earpiece. What you have to do is the following sequence of steps:

· Put the transmitter. If you use the Bluetooth or MP3 spy earpiece set, you are supposed to put on the loop round your neck. Make sure that the loop is properly hidden under your clothes. For Spy earpiece Watch set you put on the watch on your wrist, and for Spy earpiece Glasses set – just use it like ordinary glasses.

· Insert the battery into the spy earpiece. Every set comes with a detailed guidance for that, so don’t be afraid of doing something wrong. Anyway, if the quality of sound is unsatisfactory, try to change the position of the battery.

· Put the spy earpiece into the ear. Here you should remember that you always have to clean ear canals beforehand. Otherwise, the spy earpiece filter will choke up with earwax and sound will deteriorate significantly. In the worst case the spy earpiece will fail to work.

· Make a call. When you are ready with preparations just make a call and put the cell phone into your pocket. You won’t need it any more. Now the covert communication is established. You can hear what your partner is saying.

· Pull the spy earpiece out. This is very easy to do thanks to a special ejection cord every spy earpiece has. You can see it in any picture.

· Take out the battery. Be careful about pulling out the battery. You have to do it only with the help of a paper pin so that not to damage the spy earpiece. In case you won’t take it out, the battery will discharge.

With the help of the spy earpiece you will never feel embarrassed and confused when speaking in public, writing a test, having an interview or taking an exam. The spy earpiece will help you to feel confident and be successful.

Source – http://osanellona.hubpages.com/hub/How-Does-Spy-Earpiece-Work

Whats’s a Covert Earpiece?

The basis of this post is to make you consider what in life is important and what does getting the new earpiece really mean to people

A covert earpiece is a miniature earpiece worn by an individual while being effectively hidden from plain view. It operates as a radio accessory in times when a user does not want other people to know she or he is communicating with others using radio earbuds. Also known as an invisible earpiece or a surveillance earpiece, a covert earpiece is often worn by government agents, corporate security personnel, undercover law enforcement officers and corporate as well as government spies.

covert earpiece

While many occupations require the use of a radio headset for communication, a covert earpiece is primarily used in instances where communication is of an extremely private and sensitive nature. This is common in cases of private security details and surveillance projects. Sometimes people also use a covert earpiece to defraud businesses and others. Examples of such instances would include someone using an invisible earpiece to cheat on an exam or to defraud a casino by receiving remote information while playing a game.

On-air television personalities may also use a covert earpiece, which is not distracting to viewers, but allows the person to hear relevant feedback from producers and engineers in order to make sure a taping or live appearance flows smoothly. Individuals may also wear a covert earpiece when making a public speech. By doing so, the speaker can receive important cues or changes in a speech without the audience even being aware that communication is taking place between someone located behind the scenes and the individual delivering the speech.

Some covert earpieces are accompanied by a discreet microphone, which enables two-way communication. These are commonly used by security forces with a need for such communication, particularly during surveillance operations. These types of accessories are not only convenient because they feature hands-free operation, but also because they allow undercover security forces to blend in with crowds without having to use a visible walkie-talkie system of communication.

A covert earpiece does not contain any visible wires and is designed to fit inside the ear without being noticeable to the general public. Some devices are even designed to fit on a pair of eyeglasses while amplifying sound inside a person’s ear. An inductive wire is sometimes worn around the person’s neck, but is covered by clothing so as not to be discovered by onlookers. This wire is not connected to the covert earpiece, but connects to a separate radio device that helps modulate sound.

What you need to consider before buying an earpiece for Motorola Radio

For most people, clarity of sound when using their radios is very important. Only through clear sound will you be able to receive and understand the message being conveyed. For proper sound, you might consider using a good set of earpiece. Motorola radio earpiece is the ear piece to go for. This earpiece has been made using the latest technology to ensure you enjoy top quality sound. Additionally, the huge popularity of the gadget is more than enough proof of its reliability and exceptional performance.

How to choose the ideal earpiece

There are numerous brands of earpiece flooding the market. This makes it hard trying to choose the best earpiece. However, it is very much possible settling for the best. This is possible only if you put a few factors into consideration. Some of the things to note include:

• Cost. You certainly do not expect to spend a lot on this gadget. As much as you do not want to spend much, it is important that you consider the price. Ensure that you go for something that has a reasonable price. This will ensure that you get what you are looking for plus full value for your money.

• Quality. Price will certainly dictate quality. Quality earpieces produce clear sound. Additionally, quality means that the earpieces are durable and can endure any type of conditions.

• Brand name. The brand name on the earpiece is also very important. Therefore, ensure that you only go for a gadget that has been manufactured by an experienced company.

• Reviews. You might want to seek the opinion of people who have used the brand that you want to go for. This will ensure that you get an overview of the product you want to purchase.

motorola earpiece

Motorola radio earpiece will definitely meet and surpass the requirements of any customer. Why you need to choose Motorola radio earpiece

By choosing the earpiece from technology giants Motorola, you are assured of leaping numerous benefits. Additionally, the fact that the earpiece is widely used is more than enough proof of its reliability. The gadget has also undergone testing and has been proven fit for use. Some of the advantages of choosing motorola are:

• Affordable. This gadget is offered at a very pocket friendly price. This is meant to ensure that anyone despite class or status can afford to receive the best sound from their radios

• Quality. This is a high quality gadget that gives an outstanding performance. The sound produced is of high quality and crystal clear. This does not pose a threat to the well being of your ears. This makes the earpiece very reliable.

• Durability. The material used in manufacturing the earpiece will ensure that it serves you for long. Additionally, the earpiece is able to withstand any condition without wearing out.

• Widely used. The wide use of this radio earpiece is more than enough assurance that you are purchasing a high quality product.

• Ideal for privacy. At times you might require taking a message discreetly. The Motorola radio earpiece will ensure that you receive the message in a clear manner.

• Striking features. The 3.5 mm jack makes it possible for you to use the earpiece with different gadgets. The earpiece is also built to enhance comfort while using it. It is compatible with: DP2400, DP3400, GP340 and CP040.

Where to purchase the earpiece

With the rise in counterfeit products, it is surely a hard task finding original products. Therefore, ensure you exercise a lot of caution when shopping for the gadget. This is a move bent at ensuring you do not make a purchase that you will later regret. Beware of con artists who are out there to make a kill out of your hard earned cash. Ensure you only purchase this gadget from a trusted dealer. Additionally, the earpiece is available in various online stores. Also, ensure you purchase from a reputable online store. This will ensure that you only purchase an original product that will diligently serve you.

Conclusion

It is time you received messages with a lot of clarity. This is only possible if you choose the appropriate set of earpiece. If you were wondering the ideal type of earpiece to go for, you now know better. Motorola 2 way radio earpiece is surely the choice to make.

What is a Communications Engineering

Communications engineering is a disparate array of technological disciplines brought together under one all-encompassing banner. The disciplines considered to be part of a communication engineer’s skill set include telecommunications, mobile phone networks and Internet maintenance (but are by no means limited to those examples).

As we wrote earlier this month, any technology that aids in communication, from a walkie-talkie to a Skype account, is technically a communication technology; therefore, it also follows that anybody who works in these different areas can call him/herself a ‘communications engineer’.

The theory behind this move is that communications technology is becoming more streamlined and, to some extent, more homogenized (think of the ubiquity of mobile phones and social media) and so, it makes sense to bring communications technology together as a single subject as well.

As I type this, it is actually possible to get a Degree in Communications Engineering (as a single subject) from many universities worldwide. However, communications engineers frequently hold other Degrees such as electrical engineering, physics, telecommunications and/or computer science.

The sort of students that apply for courses like this (and subsequently work in the related areas) are generally logistically minded, tech-savvy people who are comfortable learning new skills and adapt quickly to new technology. Certainly, the money can be good for a decent engineer with a good reputation and an up-to-date skill set. Industries that rely on the expedient exchange of information (news networks, the stock exchange, big businesses and etc) should be the goal for the ambitious communications engineer (as well as the eager graduate).

Communications engineering is a vast and somewhat esoteric subject, because it combines so many different disciplines. Ideally, good communications engineers would be just as able to handle microwave engineering as they would a downed computer network, so it takes a smart cookie to be really good at the job.

Communications engineers are often quite business savvy as well. A big part of the job is dealing with clients or management, making presentations and working effectively as part of a team. Experience of modern business practice is not essential, but from the looks of things, it certainly helps.

The vast majority of communications engineers work for specific telecommunications companies and/or manufacturers, although some are self-employed as consultants or on fixed contracts.

According to Targetjobs.co.uk, typical job responsibilities for a communications engineer include: undertaking site surveys, agreeing to and staying within a client budget, staying up-to-date with technological information, problem solving (obviously!), creating test procedures, creating ‘worst case scenario’ plans for companies to follow and presenting companies/clients with the best way to manage their communication systems.

Do Bluetooth Earpieces Cause Cancer?

The old adage that ‘mobile phone emissions can cause cancer’ is a commonly held belief that doesn’t actually have a huge amount of evidence behind it. Nevertheless, a lot of people genuinely believe that they can/will develop cancer after extensive use of a mobile phone.

Amazingly, this does little or nothing to deter these very same people from using their phones all the time!

To go to the root causes of this belief, we must first talk about the pioneering work of American ophthalmologist (that’s an eye specialist) Dr. Milton Zaret. Milton was a giant in his field (and was even unintentionally name checked in a 2013 issue of ‘Batman’ – no joke). Among Dr. Zaret’s most notable accomplishments was his research into the damaging effects that microwave emissions have on the Human eye.

There is a obvious, present and growing danger to the whole population of the UK from contact to the whole non-ionizing segment of the electromagnetic spectrum. The danger can’t be overstated because most non-ionizing emission injuries happen clandestinely, usually do not become obvious until after many dormant years, and when they do, the effects are rarely documented.

It seems that there was a lot of political pressure on other researchers to discredit Dr. Zaret and his findings, which resulted in some fairly bad science, but equally in the general notion that Zaret was mistaken. However, his work was never conclusively proved, nor reliably debunked, leaving the case open to interpretation.

Although the emissions that bothered Dr. Zaret (anything from microwave ovens to radar technology) are not exactly the same as mobile phone emissions, the fundamental argument is similar. To date, nobody has been able to prove, or disprove, that mobile phones can cause cancer.

Since the development of mobile phone equipment, studies have been conducted to see if they cause health risks. The fear is rational, given that mobile phones are low-powered microwave emitters, and some microwaves have been revealed to cause health risks. Consumers and Experts agonize that keeping a microwave emitting gadget near your head and/or brain could put you in danger for brain cancer or other harm. The fear is now and again greater in regard to Bluetooth earpieces, as the gadget is located inside your ear and thus even nearer to your brain.

So, the old argument has now been transferred to Bluetooth Headsets (you are by no means the first person to ask this question). The key point being that the earpiece itself is actually much closer to your brain than a mobile phone. However, naysayers simply consider the level of microwave emission produced by the earpiece to be so low as to render the effects negligible.

Essentially, because the widespread use of mobile phones is a relatively recent phenomenon (although it must be said that the first mobile call was actually placed 41 years ago by Marty Cooper), it is simply too early to tell, one way or the other.

Because Bluetooth earpieces are such a new facet, it is not possible to get statistics about continuing effects of constant contact. Some propose that inside 20 years, advanced studies will be presented, as the first generation to grow up using mobile phones and earpieces will in fact be guinea pigs for lasting effects. If you are really worried about the microwave emission from your mobile phone, don’t use Bluetooth earpieces and simply use the speaker-phone alternative that is standard on most Mobile phones. even though exact study has not provided comprehensible solutions as to whether Bluetooth earpieces can result in cancer, this may be an area where you feel it is better to be safe than sorry.

In conclusion, it does seem unlikely that your mobile phone can give you cancer. It seems logical enough to the earpiece assume that we’d all be feeling the effects by now, after nearly two decades of mobile phone use (the second of which actually involved the majority of the population). However, nobody really knows for sure… Dr. Zaret may yet be proven right as the prophet of doom (but, of course, we have to hope not).